Indigenous knowledges are understood as the commonsense ideas and cultural knowledges of local peoples concerning the everyday realities of living. This definition refers to the epistemic saliency of cultural traditions, values, belief systems and world views that, in any indigenous society, are imparted to the younger generation by community elders. It is also refers to world views that are products of a profoundly direct experience of nature and its relationship with the social world.
Bringing new and complex readings to the term 'indigenous', this collection of essays from Canadian and international contributors is an invitation to critically engage in the discussion of indigenous knowledges and their implication for academic decolonization. The essays are divided into four sections: Situating Indigenous Knowledges: Definitions and Boundaries; Indigenous Knowledge: Resistance and Advocacy; Indigenous Knowledge and the Academy; and Indigenous Knowledge and Transforming Practices. Collectively the essays situate indigenous knowledges in relation to conventional knowledges, validate the existence of multiple sources of knowledge, and examine the varying strategies, projects, and theories that are currently being developed in support of indigenous knowledges.
The book draws attention to some of the nuances, contradictions, and contestations in affirming the place of indigenous knowledges in the academy, while maintaining that different bodies of knowledges continually influence each other to reveal the dynamism of all knowledge systems.